More than half of the global consumers are almost ‘continuously’ connected, with 28% being on the Internet 24-7 and 23% at least every hour, a research by A.T. Kearney shows. The population most connected is found in Brazil and Nigeria, and the least in Japan. In the UK 1 out of 4 consumers say they are always online. Consumers in different countries use the internet to fulfil 4 different needs.
Management consulting firm A.T. Kearney recently released a new research report on online behaviours around the world, titled ‘Connected Consumers Are Not Created Equal: A Global Perspective’. For this research, the firm interviewed 10,000 ‘connected consumers’, people who say they are connect to the Internet at least once a week, across 10 different countries.*
A.T. Kearney’s research shows that the Internet has become a 24-7 activity as the people connected are more and more ‘continuously connected’. Of the respondents half, 51%, says they are at least connected to the Internet once an hour, and almost 3 out of 10 say they are connected all day long. Continuously connected consumers are found across all surveyed countries, with the highest percentage found in Brazil (51%), followed by Nigeria (37%) and South Africa (35%), countries where one might not expect this level of connectivity. The lowest frequency of connectivity is found in Japan, where only 13% is always connected to the Internet and almost the same percentage (11%) say only to connect once a day or even less.
The survey shows that the Internet is used to meet four basic, universal needs: interpersonal connection, self-expression, exploration, and convenience. As the Internet fulfils different roles in different countries, the level of importance put on each of these needs also differs per country. Exploring new subjects is on average the highest rated need to go online (95%), followed by increasing convenience (ranging between 82%-92%), and connecting with family and friends (73%). Using the internet to express an opinion is ranked the least important need globally, but scores high in emerging markets and places where offline expression is limited.
The power of social media
Almost half (46%) of the time spent online globally, is spent on social media. Connected consumers in Brazil (58%), Nigeria (57%), and India (54%) are spending the most time on social networking. Again, Japan stays behind with only 32% of online time spent on social media. Other countries with less time spent on social media than the average are Germany (36%), the US (39%), and the UK (41%). Although the amount of time spent on social media differs per country, every consumer, expect in Japan, spends most of its time on social media.
Recently, counterpart McKinsey & Company also released a research into global connectivity, and stated that, although more and more people are joining the online world, around 60% of the global population still is offline.
* Respondents came from the US, the UK, Germany, Japan, Brazil, Russia, China, India, South Africa, and Nigeria.